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265 votes
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Why is the price on the shelves for drinks often different from what I actually pay in supermarkets in Germany?

You are paying for the drink and a deposit for the bottle. The deposit should be listed on the shelves, but usually in small print. Look for something like "zzgl. 0,15 Pfand". As to your initial ...
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133 votes

In Germany, what are you supposed to do if your train station doesn't have any working ticket machines?

I had this happen with the S-Bahn in Frankfurt and made 'official' enquiries about what sort of action the person should take (I like to play everything strictly by the book). By 'official' I mean I ...
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133 votes
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Is tipping mandatory at Restaurants and Bars in Germany?

Tipping is not at all mandatory in Germany and usually the service personnel does not rely on tips as much as in the USA, say. Usually, if you do not state the amount you want to round up to ("make it ...
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114 votes
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Do I break the law as a foreigner in Germany if an embassy keeps my passport to stick a visa in?

I asked the Bundespolizei on Twitter. This is their reply. In English that reads Your documents are valid in general. You only need the originals to cross borders. It would be useful to have a ...
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  • 4,715
108 votes

Which safety features of the German Autobahn make it possible to have no speed limits as opposed to every other country?

TL;DR: It’s religious cultural. A considerable portion of Germans consider the absence of a general speed limit a fundamental freedom and will strongly argue against any suggestions to abolish it. If ...
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  • 2,646
100 votes
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What's the 2-minute timer on mobile Deutsche Bahn tickets?

According to this link (only in German), it is to check if you have bought the ticket just right now or a sufficient amount of time before. The rules usually are, that you have to buy a ticket before ...
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  • 8,850
97 votes

In Germany, what are you supposed to do if your train station doesn't have any working ticket machines?

Write down or memorise the number of the ticket machine (Automatennummer, Automaten-Nr. or similar) as well as time and date. For a typical Deutsche Bahn machine, it is the number on white background ...
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  • 2,646
95 votes

How can a tourist obtain an 'authentic' duelling scar?

I am not a member of such fraternities, but my father was and my brother is, so I have some good second-hand knowledge of these traditions. Such duels are always between two fraternities, so to take ...
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95 votes
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Is it rude to bring bottled water into a restaurant in Germany?

they can exploit it in their favor Everything in restaurants¹ is more expensive than the pure cost to acquire or produce it. This is how the waiting staff and location is paid. The only difference in ...
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  • 2,646
94 votes
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What is a "French bed room" in German hotel terminology?

German double beds are usually equipped with two mattresses. A 'French bed' (französisches Bett), on the other hand, is a bed wide enough for two persons, but equipped only with one mattress. They ...
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76 votes
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In Germany, are there any cities or special regions in cities which are dangerous for non-white people to go to?

I have been living as a white, non-obvious foreigner in Germany for more than 25 years. Nationalism used to be frowned upon until recently, at least the subject was rarely discussed openly, but there ...
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72 votes

Language used at passport control in Frankfurt international airport

As at most international airports in Europe, all of the passport control officers will speak English. I was there a month ago, speak no German, and had no problem communicating with them.
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  • 3,079
70 votes
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Is it socially/culturally acceptable for Indian/Sri Lankan people to visit the Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a major international tourist festival in a modern, progressive country. No one will question your attendance, no matter how you look. The only reason it would be awkward is if you told ...
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70 votes
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Is it illegal to take a piece of the Berlin Wall?

Edit: The new answer by Jack is quite excellent! However, unless doing something like that, then: There was a lot of leftover debris while the Berlin Wall was being demolished. That, however, was a ...
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  • 14.6k
69 votes
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What are the legal consequences for a tourist who runs out of gas on the Autobahn?

It is illegal to run out of gas on the Autobahn according to the German StVO (Straßenverkehrsordnung) which is the road traffic regulations in Germany. The fine can be from €30 up to €70 depending on ...
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  • 1,105
66 votes

Why is this bathroom symbol in Germany "00"?

According to the legend this tradition was started by hotels in the 19th century. Unlike today there was a single bathroom for a whole floor. This room was at the beginning of the hallway and not a ...
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  • 5,078
65 votes
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What does this road sign mean? (Germany; red circle and X on a blue background, with a right-pointing arrow.)

Provided there were no other sign or rule forbidding it, turning was perfectly fine. The red X cross on blue background means it's forbidden to stop (absolutes Halteverbot). It's somewhat similar to ...
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  • 96.2k
65 votes

Is it illegal to take a piece of the Berlin Wall?

There is a hotel in Berlin that lets you chip away your own pieces of the wall and take them with you as part of a package deal. So there do still exist legal options for you to take your own piece ...
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  • 2,147
65 votes

Is tipping mandatory at Restaurants and Bars in Germany?

TL;DR Tipping is never mandatory, but most Germans do it. 5%-10% is most common, round up to a whole number, or to 50 ct if amount < 10€ Not tipping does not automatically mean that you were ...
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63 votes

Is tap water in Munich safe to drink? If so, why do locals buy bottled water?

I live in Prague where the water is equally safe to drink and tastes well, however plenty of people still buy bottled water. The reasons are: Different flavors. Bottled water comes in a variety of ...
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  • 79.3k
62 votes

Which safety features of the German Autobahn make it possible to have no speed limits as opposed to every other country?

German autobahns are not exceptionally safe In fact, German Autobahns have mid-level safety compared to other countries, well behind countries such as the UK. The Czech Republic has particularly ...
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  • 2,147
60 votes

German €9 ticket for trains: who's eligible, and what's the catch?

Is this as good as it sound? No trick? No additional fee? Yes, no tricks, no additional fee. However, it is only valid in regional trains, not in long-distance trains like IC, EC, ICE, night trains, ...
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  • 8,850
59 votes
Accepted

Does the European number for emergencies (112) really work in Germany?

Difficult to say. The 112 emergency dispatcher should be able to connect you with the police, even if you also can call the police directly on the number 110. Perhaps the operator did not consider a ...
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59 votes
Accepted

Who goes first? Person disembarking bus or the bicycle?

The bicycle riders have to be careful and wait if necessary. Here is a German newspaper article on the subject. The basis for the rule is § 20 of the German traffic regulations (StVO), whose first ...
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  • 9,085
58 votes

What is the longest stretch of the Autobahn that is guaranteed to have no speed limits?

I can not comment yet on this SE, and this is not an answer to the question, but I feel like I have to warn you. And the other two answer you got (Jan's and Tor-Einar Jarnbjo's) are still pretty good. ...
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  • 1,215
58 votes
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What exactly is the Bahnhofsmission? What do they do and who uses their services?

The Bahnhofsmission (train station mission, mission in the religious sense) is over 100 years old and began as a Christian network to help out young girls moving into the cities who were searching for ...
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  • 16.3k
58 votes
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Is it OK if I do not take the receipt in Germany?

It is perfectly normal to accept or reject the receipt if that is asked. It is slightly impolite to reject a receipt if it has been printed and handed out, since this slows the checkout line for ...
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57 votes
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Who to complain to about the speed of airport security at Frankfurt?

From the Frankfurt airport website: The Federal Police will also deal with compliments and complaints concerning aviation security matters. Airport Security Check +49 (0) 69 690 - ...
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  • 84.8k
56 votes
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How can a tourist obtain an 'authentic' duelling scar?

The short answer is: you can't. As an "honorary" member of a Burschenschaft, I fought two duels in Freiburg in 1988, leaving me with a prominent Schmiss on my right cheek (11 stitches) and a small ...
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